What does a Christian Coach do? How is coaching different from counseling? What can a coach do for me that I cannot do for myself? These questions and others are the topic of this week’s podcast. I’ve recently been asked this question and overheard a similar inquiry by another person and thought now would be a good time to provide an answer. As the description mentions, this is a refresher from a previous podcast.
Often, people are confused by the term “life coach” or have heard a variety of definitions about what they do. My hope is to put some of those concerns to rest and to answer these questions more clearly. In short, a coach will help you identify where the Lord is leading you, who He is calling you to be, and aid in developing a strategy to get you there.
Different From Counseling
One of the key differences between coaching and counseling is the direction of perspective. Counseling tends (not always) to look backward, to review your life to this point, identifying areas where healing and recovery are necessary. Coaching looks forward, helps you take responsibility for where you are, and encourages you forward to where you’re called to be. Both serve specific purposes and help in different ways. It is important to acknowledge they are not the same, however.
Coaching is also distinct from mentoring, discipleship, and other helping professions. Many, if not most, of the other helping professions work from an “outside-in” approach. Coaching in contrast works from the “inside-out” – heling you access the knowledge and resources God has already given you through His Holy Spirit. It is this reliance on and working with the Holy Spirit that makes coaching specifically Christian.